Hello again sorry for the short posts from the bush but I did want to stay in touch...this is a catch up post and will be long...you have been warned!!!!
It is now Saturday evening and I am in a small town called Ermelo in a very nice airbnb roundavel but more on that later...
First we have to talk about yesterday...now it is just Sonja, Delwin and myself and we went out for our usual 8 am game drive...I must tell you it has been lovely sunny and hot here all week whilst that is good for me not good for the animals as they should be getting rain during this month so Delwin thinks that some of the animals have moved away looking for water and good grazing....
This morning we drove around and even though the area is mainly bush and trees there are a number of lovely view points that are very scenic....
it looked like all the animals were sleeping in, they are supposed to do that on Sundays!!!!
We did pass this tree and I will try to tell you about this tree
3 years ago S & D and some of their family were driving this exact same route and came upon this tree and there was a leopard with an Impala he had just killed trying to get it up the tree.....
Delwin had shown me the movie he had taken of the whole event the day before it is the most amazing footage I have ever seen and he needs to submit it to National geographic.....it goes on for nearly 40 minutes of the leopard trying and eventually getting the Impala up the tree...that is the kind of experience that stays with you I can hardly imagine sitting 40 feet away with a grandstand view one of nature's most incredible sights.....so that is the tree.
We decided it was time for coffee , tea and rusks so we stopped at this blind of hide
Looks very peaceful and we went inside opened the door and there it was!!!!!
The hide is facing a waterhole and a trough about 15 feet from the window and at this trough were three elephants!!!!!
We all positioned ourselves at the windows and they were approximately 15 feet from us just lazing around filling their trunks with water and then pouring it down their bellies...all these noises you could hear.
One of the elephants looked right at me and I mean looked right at me and then to my absolute horror he started walking towards me came right up to the open window and looked right into my eyes he was 15 inches away.
Delwin said the look on my face was priceless....my mouth was wide open and my eyes as big as plates.....I was not frightened but I did not know what to do so I stayed perfectly still...he was still looking at me and whilst doing so decided it was time to go to the bathroom both a Number 1 and a number 2..which is what I may have done if he had come any closer!!!!!he then turned and walked away.
I do not have the vocabulary or the talent to describe how this moment was for me but I felt I had connected with one of the world's most beautiful and dangerous creatures!!!
The moment that one elephant left the water hole another arrived and then after he had taken his fill he would walk away and another one appear......six in all.
Lots of photos but check the water games
the eyelashes..... must spend a fortune in mascara on a Saturday night!!!
How did you spend the time with your morning tea today???
Meantime in the water a few feet away were two Egyptian geese, further upstream a family of warthogs
and in the same pasture a whole herd of Impala
...all minding their own business.....it was a scene that movies are made of.
I had to be lifted back off cloud nine and we got back in the truck talking about this and how nothing could ever top that today when we rounded the corner and eagle eye Sonja said “Zebra”.
Good eyes not easy to spot!!!
Now I do have to point out that I did say two days ago we would see a leopard and we did and this morning I did say before we left I would like to see a zebra......so Delwin does what he always does gets us into a position to get great shots and what do we see apart from the Zebra......giraffe and elephant.....I would like to bet that not many people get a shot of these three close together like these shots!!!
This was not the end though...at the last water hole we saw a buffalo and a hippo sharing the same pool
So what a morning we did not get back till after noon.......we needed bacon and eggs to calm us down and then we started packing up a little and then time for swimming and snoozing by the pool.
Delwin and I then went out on our own to look for lions but were unsuccessful....but we did come across this hippo
...now without sounding a bit egotistical I did also say to Sonja this morning I would love to see a hippo out of the water......
Delwin tells me it is quite rare to see this animal out of the water....
is there no end to this magic???
We came and picked up Sonja and went to a nice look out for sundowners where these shots were taken what is that out there?
Oh no not ANOTHER elephant!!!
and as it grew dark Sonja managed to spot a hyena which I did get a fleeting glance of.
Finally my last sunset!!!
Came back by 7 pm and had our final braai that means BBQ. Where we were visited by a lovely gennet and a hyena..what wonderful meals I have had here but more on that later!!!
I did dishes and was fast asleep by 11 pm.
The drive was about 4 hours and as I was going through the gate to leave the complex the guard stopped me and asked me where I was going and I told him and he asked me if I would give a ride to one of the workers to the big town about 45 minutes away and of course I said yes!!
So I gave Mary a ride and she was fun and I learned all about her family, children and life here in SA.
All these shots were taken from the car as I drove through the park to the exit!!!
I know this is a funny angle but it just appealed to me and after all it is my blog!!!
I enjoyed being behind the wheel again …. a few stops along the way...the lovely mountain pass
Is it just me or does anyone out there think the shot above is typical of a mountain road in Mexico???
and right in the middle of the above is this!!!
The road became flat and straight and long!!!
A lovely field of sun flowers!!!
I arrived at my destination for one night around 3 pm.....looks pretty nice I think they are called Rondevell!!
I had a very light dinner (thanks Sonja) and caught up on some computer work.
Todays route it is a bit off but gives a general idea!!
Delwin has spent many hours on getting me a route to Cape Town that is off the normal tourist track and includes a lot of the things I like so this should be a fun and interesting few weeks....I have to be in Cape Town by 10th May for a house sit assignment!!
I cannot end this marathon of a post with out saying publicly what an incredible couple Sonja and Delwin are!!!!!
They have treated me like a king just the meals alone they served were all 5 star...the cottage is so great and in a setting of complete privacy....all the game drives...the sleep under the stars was one that many folks will never have the opportunity to do.......Delwin must be so tired of me asking questions!!!
He is such a wealth of information and in the week I have learned so much about nature, the bush, the rituals of the animals.....I can now recognize certain animal calls, a few birds, know about their habitat and even their tracks BUT most of all Sonja and Delwin plain and simple are great people...thank you so much for all you have done for me I send you both many blessings!!!
Not sure what Internet connections I will have on the road but always no worries if there is not a post everyday......
Hope you all have a great weekend!!!